Writing and Publishing

I don’t know how relevant or likely this is, but I was wondering if you ever considered the possibility of starting your own weblog.

With so many cheap or free options out there, like Blogspot or LiveJournal, and your inspired perspective on the world, it seems like it would be a wonderful fit, and a means for you to explore smaller ideas that might not make it into book form.

Was there a difference for you in the writing process when you wrote Dreamer versus writing something like The Holy or After Dachau?

There are books like your Dreamer and all the many, many Stephen King and Peter Straub mass market paperbacks that you find on the shelves and then there are books like After Dachau and The Holy—books that it seems like the author put more of himself into, that were more personal to the author.

Is there a difference in the writing process when you’re imagining up things for a novel like Dreamer and your more recent fiction, which seems like a different kind of thing altogether?

It’s obvious from the book and your answers to questions that you have knowledge on a broad range of subjects. Furthermore, to develop the unique perspective presented in Ishmael requires a special blend of disciplines (e.g., theology, anthropology, ecology, history, etc.).

How did you acquire this knowledge and how did you develop the arguments used in the book?

I recently finished The Holy, which I found clever and thought-provoking. Had I merely read the book, I’d simply see the many connections between it and your other work, and that would have been that.

But I’d read Rennie’s account on your website of the childhood event that partly inspired the book—your encounter with the part-man-part-animal. There is much I don’t know about the world, so the last thing I’d do is just discount this experience of yours.

However, I have to admit great surprise. What (admittedly little) I know of you is that you’re a lover of science and a skeptic—this is evident in your work, on your website, and in much of our previous correspondence, in which you have spoken scientifically in general and, in some cases in particular, directly against “new age” or “occult” beliefs and phenomena.

I’m very curious to hear how you reconcile this childhood experience of yours with your scientific knowledge—and, by extension, what you might tell your science-loving fans (like me) who might not understand how they should reconcile these two things about you, these two things that, not knowing better, we might see as contradictory.

I’m also incidentally curious about the extent to which your portrayal of the “yoo-hoos” is fictional, i.e., simply for the purposes of fleshing out the story, as opposed to things you actually believe. For example, that they themselves represent what ancient cultures thought to be gods and what older Taker cultures thought to be demons/devils—that they are matter-based and yet immortal and possessing of shape-changing abilities, etc.

Have you ever asked your publisher to release the entire Ishmael trilogy as a single volume?

I hope it doesn’t violate your contract. (I saw from someone else’s question that you can’t release mass paperback editions.) Because I was having this huge fight with someone who had just read Ishmael>/i> and none of the other books and had completely misunderstood things.

In arguing with this guy, I was struck by how many times I said, “Quinn CLEARLY said in My Ishmael…” or “It’s written right there, in The Story of B…” One volume of the whole trilogy would be cheap, handy, and pretty gosh darned cool.